Don’t miss Pangea Day May 10

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Indiana Jones isn’t the only movie blockbuster this summer. On May 10, get ready for Pangea Day: a first-of-its kind global film festival broadcast live in more than 100 countries to promote tolerance and understanding of other cultures. You might have heard about Pangea Day in the blogosphere. Here’s a quick overview of what it is, how you can participate, and why it matters.

What is Pangea Day?

The purpose of Pangea Day is to use the power of film to foster tolerance and understanding of other cultures. From 2:00-6:00 p.m. Eastern Time May 10, Pangea Day will broadcast 24 short films, music, and presentations to a global audience through public screenings, television, the internet, and mobile devices. The films were chosen from an international competition based on their ability to inspire us to see the world through other people’s eyes. You can view details on the Pangea Day films here. On the Pangea Day website, you’ll learn about efforts from personalities like Sumit Roy, an independent filmmaker from India who contributed Dancing Queen, a brief movie about the joys of dance (shot on a mobile phone).

How did Pangea Day come about?

Pangea Day is the brainchild of TED conference prize winner Jehane Noujaim, who created the noted documentary Control Room. Each year, three TED speakers are awarded a $100,000 grant (the Ted prize) to conceive and implement an inspiring idea of the prize winner’s choosing. Noujaim elected to use her TED prize to create a one-day, cross-cultural film festival to foster understanding of other cultures. On May 10, her wish will be fulfilled through Pangea Day. (My employer Avenue A | Razorfish worked with Noujaim to create the website plus marketing and media plan.)

How can I participate?

You can participate by attending any of the live screenings being scheduled from satellite-connected locations (including the Pyramids of Egypt), through a live internet feed, on your mobile device, or by hosting your own Pangea Day gathering. The easiest way to figure out the best viewing option for you is to visit the “how to watch” section of the Pangea Day website. Also, to host your own Pangea Day screening, all you need is a large television screen and a strong internet connection. More details here.

How can I spread the word?

Telling others about this worthy cause is easy. Post this YouTube video on your blog or forward notable blog commentary. Create a link the Pangea Day website. Join the Pangea Day Facebook page. (Kudos to my Avenue A | Razorfish colleagues like Shiv Singh and Jeff Lanctot for raising awareness through their blogs.)

Why does Pangea Day matter?

I can think of three easy reasons why Pangea Day should matter to anyone in the marketing profession:

Pangea Day shows the power of Social Influence Marketing™, or the application of social media to build a relationship with a consumer beyond a marketing campaign. I mentioned the different ways you can employ social media to raise awareness for Pangea. In addition, the Pangea experience itself is social in nature, with people around the world connecting in ways of their own choosing. This isn’t just a matter of creating warm and fuzzy feelings. Marketers like the Brand Experience Lab are exploring ways to create brand experiences out of audience participation (more about that here).

Pangea Day demonstrates the importance of engagement – or creating experiences that captivate your audience, usually through emotion. Increasingly, marketers are waking up to engaging consumers instead of pushing messages at them, whether you’re an American Girl Place that uses an immersive retail world for families to shop for American Girl toys or a Philips Norelco using the now famous shaveeverywhere website to educate consumers about body grooming products in a hilarious way. Pangea relies on the emotional impact of film to raise awareness for Pangea Day rather than rely on a transactional web experience to explain its importance.

Finally, my colleague Jeff Lanctot summarized on his blog the most important reason why Pangea Day matters to marketers: Pangea Day heightens consumer insight. Jeff wrote, “If we seek to build closer relationships with customers — being a part of their networks, letting them influence our brands, having them be advocates for our businesses — then, as marketers, we need to know and understand those customers better than we ever have before. They are not just consumers of our goods. They have causes that inspire them and work that motivates them. We will be judged not just on the quality of our products, but on how well our interests align with those of our customers. As a marketer, does it change the way you behave if you know your customers support Appalachian Voices? If they are organizing viewing parties for Pangea Day? If they bought goats through Oxfam? It should.”

Well put, Jeff. Now check out some more enticing Pangea moments here.

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